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AMIDEAST Tunisia
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pippy1.1



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: AMIDEAST Tunisia Reply with quote

I have been offered an interview for a teaching position with AMIDEAST in Tunisia and was wondering if anyone has had recent experience with them.

Also I would love to hear more about the general experience of living and teaching in Tunis. (Cost of living, opportunities for learning Arabic/French, etc.)

FYI-I am a white American female in my late twenties with a SIT TESOL Certificate, and MA in Education and experience working in Kosovo, Turkey and South America.

Thanks in advance for you help.
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holoholo girl



Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Posts: 57
Location: Ottoman Empire dweller

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will be paid pennies... so hopefully you do not have to make student loan payments. On the other hand, Tunis is a lovely city- but more expensive than one thinks. If you don't live in the city center and walk to work taxi cabs are expensive and not plentiful at the wrong hours- which typically are the hours you need a taxi to get to work.
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cassava



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: AMIDEAST Tunisia Reply with quote

pippy1.1 wrote:


FYI-I am a white American female in my late twenties



What is the relevance of stating the colour of your skin?
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pippy1.1



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: AMIDEAST Tunisia Reply with quote

What is the relevance of stating the colour of your skin?[/quote]

Color of skin is too often relevant, but I think it is just a habit after being referred to like that for so many years.

I actually have only made a few posts here and just thought the more information the better.
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teacherabroad



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your main reason for coming to Tunisia is to study French/Arabic, I would think twice about taking a job at Amideast. Your schedule does not allow you to commit to language classes. The schedule at Amideast is one of split shifts. You can expect to start at 9 and finish at 9:30 several days a week. Even if that only includes 6 hours of teaching. Management is not particularly accommodating when it comes to trying to structure your classes around the possibility of doing Arabic/French classes. Many teachers come here with the intention of combing language study with teaching, and leave frustrated.

Tunis is not that cheap. And like Hololuly girl says, you get paid peanuts. They will quote you a salary of 2000-2500 dinars when you apply for the job, but do not point out to you that to earn a salary like that, you will be teaching between 35+ hours a week. Something many teachers do. It is not uncommon for teachers to be expected to teach 10 hours a day. This is followed by a bare bones schedule throughout the summer and Ramadan, when there are hardly any hours at all.The emphasis is on number of paying students rather than on quality of teaching. Accommodation is not cheap. If you want to live by yourself for something decent, you will be need to pay 550+ dinars.

For an experienced teacher planning on coming to Tunisia, I would suggest looking into the British Council.
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23klicks



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: First Post Reply with quote

I wish everyone success and fortune for all their years!
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Concepcion780



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 32
Location: United States

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

23klicks- that is a nice way to increase your post count Smile
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Diane12491



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:03 am    Post subject: Be wary Reply with quote

As I've just spent a couple months at AMIDEAST in Tunis, I feel compelled to let the job-hunting community know what's going on there.

First and foremost, there is no concern for the welfare of the teachers they're bringing in. Teachers are not met at the airport, they're placed in cheap hotels that are barely livable and there's no orientation before you're thrown into a classroom. Teachers are expected to be grateful for the number of hours they're given, even if it means being available to AMIDEAST 12 hours a day. There have been over 10 teachers walk out in the past 3 or 4 months.

The most horrendous example of the apathy there is the story of a young American woman who, after living in her apartment for 2 weeks, was attacked by the security guard in the building. Luckily, she was able to get away from him without serious injury. When the English Director and Assistant Country Director heard about this, they were on their way home for the weekend....and just kept going. They felt the teachers should take care of her for the weekend and they'd look into it on Monday. They never did.

Students are another problem at AMIDEAST in Tunis. For the most part, they're nice, educated people. However, there are some who feel they're there to be entertained and will complain about teachers who are not entertaining enough for their tastes. This has happened to quite a few good teachers.

The city is....well.....disgusting. Since the revolution the garbage men have been on strike. So, there are piles of garbage on every street corner. The smell is bad now, and it will be unbearable when the weather heats up. Also, you'd think the people there would be energized and excited about the new direction of their country. You'd be wrong. People are aggressive and angry. The driving is insane (and I've lived all over the world) and very dangerous. The people are mistaking freedom with the absence of rules.

Tunis is also incredibly expensive. A small one bedroom apartment will cost you at least 800 TND per month plus utilities. Food is expensive and the produce is not very nice.

Check the rules about taking money out of the country before you go. It's a hassle and you will most likely end up dealing with the black market to exchange your dinars for real money before you leave.

On the good side, the school has a new Country Director who is trying to make things better for the teachers. Unfortunately, she's meeting with strong resistance from the 'old guard' who have been there for many years and don't want things to change.

Sorry for the long rant, but I wish someone would have posted the truth about this place before I wasted so much time and money going there.
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uh huh



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 107
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: AMIDEAST Tunis Reply with quote

I can not speak to AMIDEAST but would disagree strongly with the characterization of Tunis, where I am now living happily. Feel free to PM me. I can also give you some contacts for other teaching possibilities (not vouched for).
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holoholo girl



Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Posts: 57
Location: Ottoman Empire dweller

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Tunis Reply with quote

I loved living in Tunis. It is expensive. You can make a decent living there, but you will need to work a lot of teaching jobs- which means taking cabs to different areas of the city & being stuck in traffic. Good to hear there is a new Director at amideast...
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Diane12491



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To each his own. I stand by my assessment of Tunis and will not be going anywhere near the place again. I'm happy that you've had better experiences than I did.
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SmithJones



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Canadar

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna go ahead and bump this topic, simply because I feel like it. I taught at AMIDEAST up until the revolution and I have to say that most of what Diane says is true: the teacher's are often left to their own devices, rent can be expensive, fresh apples were non-existent, getting your carte de sejour so you can send money out of the country is an absolute nightmare and the garbage...oh the garbage corners! It was bad even then!

This being said, I somehow came away from Tunis with a craving to go back (I'm sure I will one day) and if it means teaching at AMIDEAST to do it, that's just fine.
The city itself is so unique and a wonderful place to explore, the people, with a few exceptions, are wonderful, friendly and incredibly welcoming, the country is so diverse and the climate is comfortable: not too hot, not too cold with distinct seasons.

At AMIDEAST, the pay is not great, but it is still well above average compared to that of a Tunisian, the hours CAN be rough and the 'assistance' you get get, negligible. However, the administration recognize when you are willing to put in the effort. Flexibility early on will ensure you get your way later. After a short time I basically got to choose my own classes. If you are wanting work, you can find it. Basically what it comes down to is that the more you do for them, the more they will do for you. You do have to have persistence, however.

As for the cost of living, you will quickly learn to adapt and find the right places to shop, the right things to buy, the right people to deal with, etc. If you expect to live a similar lifestyle as one back home, though, chances are you will be paying a lot more than you need to. A simple example might be peanut butter; if you want a pbj sandwich for lunch every day, your grocery bill just might double. If you can live with tuna and harrissa, though, you're coasting!

All in all if you go to Tunis thinking it's a great way to save money, or if you were hoping to go to X place and this is your last resort, you may regret it. If you have always wanted to visit Tunisia, the Maghreb and/or the Middle East, or if you are familiar with these areas, I can't recommend it enough.

This is all.
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CamTam



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: Tunisia Amideasat Reply with quote

I taught at Amideast for a while and so I can say that they do indeed pay peanuts and the traffic in getting to places is annoying. Nobody really makes any money working here. Except for one guy, everybody I knew there was short at the end of the month or at the very least, close to it. I left to go to another country and so had a few other people. People who work there usually don't like the experience and complain constantly of the low wages. I wouldn't really want to go back to Amideast Tunisia and can't recommend it, but there are those who just want to know what Tunis is like. Personally, I don't think it's worth the experience, but we each have our own likes and dislikes. I thought the produce was okay by the way. I have never had to have peanut butter sandwiches every day. The main complaint I have about the place has to be the way one has to work so hard for peanuts. One guy I knew left for South Korea. Another left for Indonesia. I myself left for another country. You may end up thinking like that after months of working for peanuts in a country that is unbelievably expensive given the wages.
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contented



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 136
Location: اسطنبول

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much would one need a month to live decently? Does anyone have a figure (one lump sum stated in USD) for rent, food, toiletries, getting around, funsies...?
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contented



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 136
Location: اسطنبول

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the information I was seeking.
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